Open Government Partnership – Australia
Engagement update - 11 March
Thank you to those if you who have suggested an action to date. 60 actions have been suggested and I'm aware of a few more currently being drafted.
I have reached out to as many groups and individuals I can find with an interest in Open Government Principles or the OGP Grand Challenges so they can help promote the project, convene discussions and suggest actions.
The OGPAU stakeholder list now includes 512 individuals or organisations. 218 people have registered for updates, which is a 28% increase since our January update, and I have emailed everyone on the list to raise awareness about the project and encourage engagement. I have personally discussed the project with 87 people, some who are working on actions to suggest more than once. I am sure there are many more people and organisations across Australia who would be interested in the project, so please do spread the word. I have developed a one page Introduction to the OGPAU document and How to Suggest an Action template with tips to support those willing to help with this process. I am also happy to provide content for emails and newsletters for you share with your networks – just let me know how I can help.
I have prioritised direct engagement with State Government, Local Government Associations, and professional association, networks and organisations with some interest in Open Government principles or the Grand Challenges. I have been well received by teams delivering Open Government in QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, ACT and WA Government’s but I am still trying to find the best contacts in Tasmania and the Northern Territory so please do get in touch, or put me in touch with anyone interested if you know anyone there.
I was planning a national teleconference for those wishing to workshop their ideas around key themes but almost everyone I have engaged with to date has said they would prefer to workshop actions within their own organisations and networks for now. In response, I have sought out opportunities to engage with existing networks and I am connecting people with similar interests to each other directly. I have also prepared a list of organisations I have been talking to, to share for transparency and so you are aware of and can contact each other. I have contacted PM&C’s privacy team to confirm this approach whether this requires your consent.
As an example, I have also connected several people interested in transparency and open data for extractive industries, shared open government platforms and ways to enable innovation within agencies and innovation with others who want to help.
Three events will be held to engage with professionals working in public participation industry across the country. I have been working with the Australasian division International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) who sent out a newsletter to their network and invited members to express an interest in an event. We are now hosting a teleconference on the 21st of March and I will host a 30minute workshop at the Ark Community Engagement Conference on the 22nd March. At both events we will discuss the public participation suggestions already put forward and try to generate more suggestions for actions to include in the National Action Plan. Collabforge has offered to do the same with attendees of the Engage2Act conference in Melbourne and we are also exploring whether there is enough interest in an event about collaboration and Open Gov. Toby has been doing similar work, engaging with the Open Data sector through a series of industry events this week in Canberra. See more in the Actions you have inspired section of this post below.
I’ll also be inviting the Australian Open Government Network Partnership and those who have suggested related actions to these events. If you haven't suggested an action or been in touch with me about your interests please do so, so I can introduce you to others. I am also happy to attend your events and workshop actions with you and others with aligned interests.
Next week I am heading to Canberra to discuss the actions suggested so far with Prime Minister and Cabinet and how they might be presented in the next draft of the Plan to go up on the wiki. If you haven’t already suggested an action please do so asap, so we are aware of your interest in the project and PM&C can discuss suggestions with agencies. One paragraph is fine for now. This How to Suggest an Action document should help, or you could look at the wiki for ideas to build upon. PM&C are engaging with agencies around these suggestions to determine which of these they will work with you to workshop in April.
The rest of this post summarises actions into themes, and outlines the actions you have inspired me to take through our engagements. Thanks to everyone who has made time to add an action to the wiki, to those of you who have met with or made time to talk to me about the project and others who may be interested. I'm really enjoying learning more about Open Government in Australia. I thought you might too, so I have also drafted this blog post about What I have learned about Open Gov in Australia which I will update as I continue to engage.
Key themes: what I’ve been hearing online and offline
My discussions and actions suggested so far relate to the following key themes:
- Public Participation –increased input into both policy and agenda setting, online methods, civic education and training for staff
- Government Integrity – procurement, political donations, anti-corruption, parliamentary openness
- Freedom of Information – review of the act, role of the commissioners, privacy, copyright review
- Fiscal Transparency – open budget, political donations
- Public Service Delivery – how Gov work with community and industry, how citizens find services
- Resources Management – sustainable development, working with indigenous communities, see also OpenData and Government Data for Access to Information and Transparency
- Open Data – standardised formats, public register and open raw data, publishing practices for data and publications including natural resource and extractive industry data
- Government Data for Access to Information and Transparency - extractive industry data and transparency initiative
- Fostering innovation – enabling and delivering innovation within Gov given budget and procurement processes, open innovation models that deliver innovation outcomes rather than tender to deliver outputs, support small to medium size businesses to use open data and deliver services
- Engagement for OGP – raising awareness now, engaging the States, forums for ongoing engagement, mentoring staff
You can see suggested actions in more details on the WIKI.
Actions you have inspired me to take
Based on your input to date I am now:
- Supporting a number of organisations with development of their submissions
- Connecting Australians with aligned ideas and complimentary skills – e.g. My Community Directory and Nook Studios to Code for Australia; and the author of the MOU for NSW Government’s shared platform to teams wanting to do the same thing in QLD and Victoria. Professionals working with data for natural resource management and sustainability programs. Individuals to the International OGP Working Groups.
- Co-hosting events – I am working with IAP2 to host an event about public participation; Collabforge is going to host a discussion at Engage2Act in Melbourne and I am going to host a discussion at the Ark Conference for Community. Engagement. I have also offered to host events with a number of the organisations listed.
- Preparing for a National OGPAU teleconference - will now be a teleconference using a tool that allows me to connect people with similar ideas
- Connecting Australians to the OGP Working Groups
- Researching similar actions outlined in Action Plans prepared by other countries
- Investigating privacy and consent requirements for publishing stakeholder details – you may see an email from me asking if I can add your names to this blog posts in future and share my stakeholder list publicly.
- Researching ongoing engagement forums being used in other Countries to engage stakeholders about Open Government Partnership after action plans are developed – I have spoken to the OGP civil society team, and some of the people involved in the NZ and the UK. Let me know if there are others you like.
- Researching OGP NAP review reports to understand how Australia might be assessed and what actions should include.
Thanks for reading my update. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your ideas and ways you might be more involved.